UK Unveils the New Points Based System for Work Visas

The Home Office has released a policy statement on the UK’s new “points-based immigration system” to attract highly skilled professionals from around the globe to work in the post-Brexit UK.

What is the New Points Based System?

The new Points Based System will implement key changes, to Tier 2 (General) visa route, which are summarised as follows:

  • Currently, the Point Based System only applies to professionals from outside the EU. From January 2021, the system will be applicable to the EU nationals too.
  • The new system reduces the threshold from £30,000 to £25,600, and the skills threshold lowered from RQF6 to RQF3.
  • All applicants will need to score 70 points, of which the first 50 are mandatory, as follows:
    • 20 points for a job offer from a licensed sponsor;
    • 20 points for a job at required skill level of RQF3;
    • 10 points for suitable English language ability;
    • 10 points for a salary of £23,040 – £25,599;
    • 20 points for a salary of £25,000 and above;
    • 20 points for the job if it’s on the shortage occupation list;
    • 10 points for a PhD in a subject relevant to the job;
    • 20 points for a PhD in a STEM subject relevant to the job


Will the EU nationals need to apply for a visa to visit the UK?

The Home Office has indicated that the EU nationals will be regarded as non-visa nationals in 2021 which means that they can come to the UK as visitors for 6 months without the need to apply for and obtain a visa. If, however, the EU nationals wish to work in the UK, they’ll need to make an application under the Point Based System.